Pixar Top Ten

What’s the difference between fact and opinion?  My approval.  That’s right, Chief Dodo simply has to stamp an opinion with his OK and it magically changes to fact.  It’s like I’ve got the Midas touch over all things that are up for debate.

Here’s the proof. Pixar has completed 10 movies and I’ve ranked them from worst to first. 

#10 – Wal*E (2008)

Pluses – *Classic love story from an unlikely source.  *The robots were varied and interesting.

Subtractions –  *Cockroach was the supporting character.  *The comic relief (a little cleaning bot) was nonexistent for long portions of the movie.  *There were long stretches especially during the beginning that left you wondering if Pixar was just trying to lengthen the movie.  *Desperate – thirst educing – lack of dialogue.  *No cool antagonist. 

Additionally-  *What happened to the sandstorms that plagued earth in the movie’s beginning?  *How does that stupid plant manage to live with it changing hands so many times?  More importantly, the plant is out in space for a brief period of time…hey, space KILLS!  *Where did the new animals and plants come from?

#9 – Up (2007)

Pluses – *A cranky, stoic old man is comic GOLD.  *A fat Asian kid is comic PLATINUM!  *Great love story.  *The talking dogs were funny – especially the Alfa dog.

Subtractions –  *Going from (presumably) America to somewhere in South America by way of a thunderstorm made no scene – even for a movie with a flying house.  *The final scene was waaaay over the top.  *Not enough lines for the FAT, ASIAN KID!!

Additionally – *What on Heaven’s name is Mr. Fredrickson taking?!  The old man is strong enough to manage the momentum of an air born house, run from dogs, and keep a hose from slipping off an edge with a dog, fat Asian kid (see, you’re smiling), and a large bird on the other end!  *The villain was Mr. Fredrickson’s childhood hero…but he’s still alive and kicking when Fredrickson is an old man!  What?

#8 – Finding Nemo (2004)

Pluses – *Dory was great as a supporting character and comic relief.  *Story about overcoming your disadvantages was nice.  *Under water environments were neat – especially the sunken submarine and mines.  *Sharks who worked not to eat other fish was amusing.

Subtractions – Most of the movie was one chase scene after another.  Sharks!  Now deep-sea angler fish!  Look out…jellyfish!  Oh no gulls!  *The whale scene was hard to swallow (yep, a pun)

Additionally – Why was this movie such a smashing success?  I suppose it’s easy for kids to understand, “RUN or you’ll be eaten!”  I’d put UP ahead of this one but people would riot.

#7 – Toy Story 2 (2003)

Pluses – *Zerg was cool.  *I liked the toy collector angle.  *The toy store scene with all the additional Buzzes was comic. 

Subtractions – *It was a sequel – you lose points for that.  *Lacked much of the original’s magic.

Additionally – Are we really going to do a Toy Story 3?   …Apparently so.  The truth is I haven’t seen this movie in a long time.  The fact that I’m not making any effort to correct that isn’t a good sign.  This placement seems about right.

#6 Ratatulli (2007)

Pluses- *The kitchen staff was varied and interesting. *The imaginary Gusteu was fantastic.  A rat with an imagination!  *Using a childhood dish to dismantle the food critic’s facade was genius.  I loved it and could easily relate to it.

Minuses- *Well, did you notice that the main character was a rat?  It’s tough to get too excited about rats running a kitchen.  I could never quite get past it.  *I once worked in a restaurant.  The amount of time the critic waits to be served while all the high drama goes on in the kitchen and the streets drove me bananas.  When the kitchen staff walks out of the restaurant, a dude on roller skates waiting tables and one qualified chef isn’t enough to keep it going!  The critic and the others must have been waiting for forty-five minutes to an hour! 

Additionally- Remme rides a cookbook through lit sewer pipes to make it to Paris.  Last time I checked  books don’t float.  This bothered me.

#5 Bug’s Life (2001)

Pluses – *I thought it was visually appealing.  Everything looked exactly like it would to someone ant size…grains of sand as big as large rocks and droplets of water held by surface tension were nice touches.  *I thought it was honestly funny and the story (albeit predictable) was solid.  *I like screw-up main characters who wind up doing well.  *I enjoyed the circus bugs masquerading as warrior bugs angle.

Minuses- *Yea, it was pretty predictable.  Flick and Princess Ada was inevitable.  The ants were going to unite against the grasshoppers. 

Additionally- *Look, both the fake bird and the real bird scene was as much excitement as you’ll get out of bugs. *The ladybug whose a man is comic gold – you know it is!

#4 Monster’s Inc. (2003)

Pluses- *Wildly original!  The cast was a blast especially the Billy Crystal and Rozz characters.  *Collecting screams for power was a great idea as well as the resolution of using laughter as fuel.  *Oddly rewatchable – especially the first half.

Minuses – After the movie’s halfway point the movie quits being funny almost altogether and morphs into a serious, “We gotta save Boo!” game of hide and seek.  *The end chase was a little over the top and why was getting Boo so important to the bad guys…just go through another door and steal a different kid!

Additionally –  At first the Minuses bothered me too much to really enjoy this movie…but it’s growing on me.  I still think it could have been better – a missed opportunity with a great set up.

#3 Toy Story (2000)

Pluses – Everyone empathies with the lost toys of your youth.  I know I’d love to have all my toys back from when I was young.  Not only would they be worth a fortune but there’s no better anchor for the memories of youth.  *The first and a good one…That’s worth extra points.  *Not only were there two main characters but they were BOTH likable and funny.  Their competition was a great addition to the  plot. 

Minuses –  Visually, this Pixar was far and away the least appealing.  It was impressive at the time but now it looks a bit old.  *I don’t know…kid seemed a little obsessed with his toys.  Why weren’t any of the good kids toys broke?  Even good kids break toys.

Additionally- Hey, the music to this movie also contributed.  You watched it and hummed the tunes to yourself.  The other movies on this list (maybe Cars) can’t boast that. 

#2 Cars (2006)

Pluses- *Best opening sequence of any of the Pixar movies.  I have approximately zero interest in car racing and I was into it immediately.  *Great music.  *Strong comic relief in Tow Mater – honestly funny.  *No real antagonist, but a pretty good jerk who WINS in the end.  Great ending which was not seen ten laps out.  *A respect for small town heart and a nostalgic view of the fifties.  *A movie with a ton of cheese potential but avoided cheesy moments nicely.  *Enjoyed the movie from start to finish with almost no lulls.

Minuses- Sally was a boring character…really dull.

Additionally – *When I saw the previews for this film, I thought it would be Pixar’s Waterloo.  As it turns out they were planning that for a couple years down the road.  *The tractor tipping scene was a classic that really didn’t have much to do with the movie.   

#1 The Incredibles (2005)

Pluses – *Not quite as original as some of the others but it’s up there.  *NO BETTER SUPPORTING CHARACTER than Edna Mode.  Not only loved every scene she was in but every word that came out of her mouth.  Classic.  *Syndrome was a bit goofy but surprisingly serious for a Pixar movie.  *End battle scene was exciting.  You knew they had to – but you weren’t sure how they were going to beat the robot.  *Moive stayed funny and if you weren’t laughing, you were enjoying the action.

Minuses- The only one I can think of was…not enough Jack Jr.

Additionally – In a strange way, I enjoyed the message of “Not EVERYONE is special.”  But wait!  You can’t tell someone they’re not special!!!

Substitute Teacher

Career Avalanche is the hardest working, most dynamic employment service in the industry!  We constantly scour the business world looking for the jobs that NO ONE else wants!  Now you – with no qualifications whatsoever – can find hundreds of cast-off jobs the click of a mouse!  Employment is easy when you’re not picky!  Each entry in Career Avalanche inundates the reader with valuable information concerning education, licenses, and potential contacts.  You can depend on the information you’ll find in Career Avalanche.

 Today’s fascinating career….Substitute Middle School Teacher.

Want to make a difference in the number of children you’ll have?  Strap yourself into that beat-up, swivel chair and hold on to that messy desk because you’re about to trade the mini-van back in!  Let’s hear from one potential leader in the substitute field…Marcus Rankfold.

 “Dear Career Avalanche,
 I’m a risk taker.  I always rise to the challenge – no matter whether I need to back out of it or not!  The military seemed nice until I found out the guns were real.  REAL BULLETS, ARE YOU SERIOUS!?  Then I thought about being a police officer but criminals can weigh over 180 lbs.!  Look…a lot of things don’t scare me, so I want a job with challenge!”

Pursuing a pint-sized challenge?  Well, welcome to middle school substitution Marcus!  Every hour a bell will ring initiating your next opportunity for a demeaning exchange with children who don’t respect you.  You can huff and puff but these little piggies know that’s all you’re allowed to do! 

Just wait until you’re asked questions about the capitals in South America or the directions to some project you know nothing about.  They’ll have you feeling stupid in no time.  Don’t cave in!  Just reach for the teacher’s edition and pass it around the room.  Now you’re looking smart!

Here are some further tips for dealing with the uncivilized…

Tip #1 – Threatening to “take their name” may not be the best method.  This tactic admits to the students that you indeed have no real power to correct them and that you are deferring to a teacher who is not there.  (“PLEASE NO!  Mr. Rankfold!  My mother won’t know who I am if you take my name!  Oh, mercy!”)

Tip #2-  Find inflatable muscles and an oversized shirt.  Wear them. 

Tip #3- The answer to 99% of questions is always…No.  Stress that whining only adds extra Os.  (“I said, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.”)

Tip #4  – Before the school day, make an arrangement with the assistant principal to send one kid to the office at the beginning of each class.  It doesn’t matter what the offence is.  (“Gum stuck on the bottom of your shoe!?  GUM ISN’T ALLOWED!  Go to the office!”) 

In Summation…
Job: Middle School Substitute Teacher
Average Salary: School districts vary – scour the teachers desk for change or resale items.
Required Education:  Graduate from any middle school. 
Required Certifications & Licenses: Anger Management / Pigmy Linguistics
Average Length of Career:  Well as long as people keep breeding…